By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Friday, October 20, 2006
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- Fred Muscara will step down from his position as principal of Hampton Academy at the end of the school year.
"It's time," Muscara said. "I'm ready to retire and enjoy it while I still can."
Muscara handed in his resignation letter to the School Board at its last meeting.
"Personally I would keep Fred forever," said School Board Chairwoman Sandra Nickerson. "I think he has done an excellent job. I always feel sad when people leave because I like to keep them. Especially the good guys, and Fred is one of those good guys."
Muscara became principal in 2004 after the resignations of former principal Kevin Moran and assistant principal Jim Doig.
Although Muscara had just recently retired from his job as an assistant principal at Winnacunnet High School, Superintendent James Gaylord was able to persuade him to come out of retirement.
Nickerson said Muscara became a leader, which the school desperately needed at the time.
"Fred became principal at Hampton Academy when things were turbulent," Nickerson said. "We lost a principal, vice principal and the staff morale was pretty low.
"I think he needed to take a lot of people under his wing and give them a lot of guidance, And he did that. I think the school is a far better place because he was there."
School Board member Denyse Richter said while she wasn't surprised by his resignation, she is sad to see him go.
"I don't think anyone ever thought he was going to have a long career here, especially when he came out of retirement to do this," Richter said. "I think he brought to this school much-need leadership and stability. He really did bring that to that building."
During his tenure, Muscara worked to boost morale, initiated new policies and started the Hampton Academy Community Council.
Muscara started his career in education as a student teacher at Winnacunnet in 1989.
He moved up to the position of permanent substitute and eventually found himself serving as dean of students beginning in 1994 and, ultimately, assistant principal at the high school.
Muscara said he plans to begin his retirement in July with a trip to Europe to visit his grandchildren.
Nickerson said the board will begin the search process for a new principal in January.
"We will probably start the search after the holidays," Nickerson said. "Once we get the budget done we will start to advertise to try and find the right candidate."